There are decent ways to begin the U.S. Open. Losing your ball on the very first shot you hit is not one of them.
Phil Mickelson teed off on Thursday morning in pursuit of his first-ever U.S. Open trophy. He's come in second a record five times. But he's never had an opening shot go quite this badly.
Playing in the marquee group with Tiger Woods and Masters winner Bubba Watson, Mickelson lost his ball in the trees at No. 9 (the players teed off on the ninth because of logistical issues). While his compatriots made their way to the green, Mickelson took that long, slow walk you see above, back to the first tee.
The rest of the round was a very Mickelson-esque operation, pinballing between genius and insanity, and finishing at 6-over 76. Even after losing his ball, he managed to bogey the hole but then bogeyed the next two as well. He'll have work to do if he wants to get back into the hunt here, but perhaps he's gotten his worst luck out of the way early.
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